Gate - The Dew Line (1998)

It's utterly unclear who is helping Michael Morley on this particular release -- there's nothing listed about the album in a technical sense beyond title, songs, and some design and contact information -- but whether it's just him or with others, he comes up with another fine album here. In many ways, The Dew Line is one of the most Dead C-like of Gate releases; certainly the familiar aesthetic of non-crisp recording techniques and dank, clanging guitar fuzz is in full effect here, and in some places all that's needed is Robbie Yeats' drumming to complete the picture. There is in fact some sort of percussion here and there, though it's not at all clear what's producing it. The combination of muffled, almost stumbling beats and ominous, dark drones (possibly from organ?) on "Needed All Words" makes it a highlight of the album, one of the finest songs in that threatening vein Morley has worked on. "Venerable Clouds" is another highlight, a bit of a multi-part song with an initial huge guitar charge followed by a brief period of random static before even better free noise crunch and moan kick in. "Autolevel," meanwhile, is actually fairly audible when it comes to the singing, or at least clearer than most similar Morley experiments, though there's still a ragged edge to the vocals which suits the fried, rambling jam of the music. Add appropriately grey-silver cover art to all this and the whole thing is a cross between ambient music of the most unlikely kind and extremism that works on many different levels, and why not?

1 comment:

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